I sometimes have an assumption that I am the only parent on the face of the planet who thinks she is failing at a lot of aspects of parenting.
Mark Matlock understands me. He tells me to get over myself, that I am not the only parent who feels like a failure. He reminds me on page 10, "Nothing you read in this book will make God the Father love you and your family any more than He does right now, no matter what's going on with your family today."
Experiencing two different approaches to autism intervention (behavioral and developmental/relationship based) has taught me a lot about the kind of parent I want to be, and Matlock reminds me of that for all of my children: "What we don't want to generate are well-behaved kids who mindlessly follow our directions without ever fully owning the faith in Jesus that they see in us. In the long run, the goal of parenting isnot for our kids to be know for how well-behaved they are, but for how well they know and respond to God."
Real World Parents is a zoomed-out "big picture" book for parents. It's not a book to try to get you to start daily family devotions. ;) Matlock guides the reader to thoughtfully consider recent research, consider how we are storytelling via our life. Chapter Six, "Demonstrating Wisdom" spotlights the importance of a relationship approach, the stuff I've learned in autism intervention as "guided participation" and "mediated learning experience". " Chapter Seven gives me five steps for making great decisions and focuses on teaching decision making, and includes what I'd describe as verbalizing my own self-talk so that my kids can see my thinking process. Chapter Eight helps me redefine failure, and that includes resiliency and learning from failure. Each chapter ends with a few questions for the reader to think about and answer before moving to the next chapter.
In our autism intervention, we're zoomed in, looking closely at specific objectives within a developmental range. I often try to think about how to zoom out and apply basic principles to interaction outside of autism intervention, and Real World Parents is an excellent resource in helping me do that. It's not so much a "how to" book. It's a "why bother" book with some "how to" examples.
Real World Parents ($12.99) is 143 pages, and the type is not teeny, although I do need my readers for it. Matlock is engaging and provides practical illustrations and examples that hit his points home. I do like this one!